Kiran Aggarwal Committee Report (2014) "Foundation Course for IAS"

Foundation Course for IAS

(i) Rationale: The Foundation Course (FC) marks the commencement of training of candidates selected by the UPSC to the All-India Services and Central Services (Group A). As per current levels of recruitment, around 600 candidates drawn across the above said civil services undergo the FC every year. A common FC has been in existence since 1960 immediately after the setting up of the National Academy of Administration at Mussoorie in 1959 and has been run ever since at Mussoorie or even concurrently at other partner institutions under the aegis of the Academy. The raison d’etre of a common FC is to instill a shared understanding of government and build camaraderie among various civil services for smoother conduct of the affairs of government. Formally, the objectives listed by the Academy for the FC8 are as follows:

  1. Instill right attitudes and values such as self-discipline, propriety and integrity, dignity of labour, commitment to the Constitution, and sensitivity to the rights of the citizens, particularly the disadvantaged and differently-abled;

  2. Inculcate a spirit of public service and set of norms behavior and standards of performance;
  3. Impart an understanding of the “machinery of the government” and of the economic, political, social and administrative environment;
  4. Promote all-round development of the personality of the Officer Trainees and develop their leadership ability; and
  5. Build esprit de corps in order to foster greater coordination among different public services.

Currently the Officer Trainees allocated to the IAS, IPS and the Indian Foreign Service (besides the Royal Bhutan Civil Service), undergo their FC at LBSNAA Mussoorie. Besides the Academy, the 88th FC was conducted in 2013 at National Academy of Direct Taxes (NADT) Nagpur; MCR HRD Institute (State ATI), Hyderabad, RCVP Noronha Academy of Public Administration (State ATI) Bhopal, and HIPA (State ATI) Gurgaon. The strength of participants at each of the training institutions was as follows:

  1. LBSNAA, Mussoorie – 269
  2. NADT Nagpur – 74
  3. MCRHRD Institute Hyderabad – 116
  4. RCVP Noronha Academy of Public Administration – 66
  5. HIPA Gurgaon – 78 (exclusively to cater to backlog of IPS officers of earlier batches)

(ii) Duration: The FC has, since the last two decades or more, been of 15 week duration and commences in late August/ early September and ends sometime in the second week of December. The practice of conducting a summer FC at Mussoorie has been discontinued on account of the Mid-Career Training programmes being run at the Academy since 2007.

(iii) Curricular Inputs: The 15-week FC comprises of 12 weeks of formal academic inputs, with the remaining three weeks being used for High Altitude Trek, Village Visit and examinations. Currently, instruction is imparted in 6 disciplines, i.e. Public Administration, Management and Behavioural Sciences, Indian History & Culture, Economics, Law, and Political Concepts and Constitution. In addition, curricular instruction is also provided in Information and Communication Technology, and Languages. The marks obtained for the latter two, however, only form part of the Director’s Assessment. Normally, around 250 sessions of formal classroom instruction is imparted in the FC (across 12 weeks), the break-up of which is as follows:

  1. Public Administration – 60 sessions (of 55 minutes each)
  2. Management and Behavioural Sciences – 30 sessions
  3. Economics – 30 sessions
  4. Law – 40 sessions
  5. Indian History and Culture – 15 sessions
  6. Political Concepts and Constitution – 15 sessions
  7. ICT – 20 sessions
  8. Language – 20 sessions

In general, around 75% or more inputs are delivered by the internal faculty (in LBSNAA) and usually in quarter groups of 65-70 each. Guest lectures are normally organized in plenary or half-groups. However, in the partner institutions (where the FC is run concurrently) the group size being smaller, sessions are normally organized in plenary or half-groups.

(iv) Co-curricular inputs: The FC is a high-intensity course based on the premise that some element of stress and adversity help shape character more effectively in adults. In addition to around 250 hours of teaching, the FC encompasses a wide array of co-curricular activities that comprise the following:

  1. High Altitude Trek – 1 week
  2. Village Visit – 1 week
  3. Short Weekend Treks – in first four weeks (for conditioning)
  4. Fete
  5. India Day
  6. Athletic Meet
  7. Adventure Sports (River Rafting, Rock Climbing, Bungee Jumping)
  8. Jungle Safari
  9. AK Sinha Memorial One Act Play Competition
  10. Homi Bhabha Science Debate
  11. Extra-Curricular Module
  12. Activities by Clubs and Societies

Trainees also undergo compulsory Physical Training every day in the morning (from Monday to Friday) for one hour.

(v) Pedagogical Issues: Majority of the instructional inputs are delivered using the lecture method. In addition, the use of case studies, films, group discussions and games is also there though these do not form a sizable component of the overall classroom instruction. Besides teaching in class, Trainees are broken into small groups of 9 to 10 and attached with a faculty member who acts as their counselor. Normally, there are 6-8 counseling sessions in every course.

(vi) Evaluation: The evaluation of the FC, like other training courses, has two broad components. The first is the assessment through mid-term and end-of-course examinations for the various faculties taught herein. The second is the Director’s Assessment which covers evaluation of the non-academic components of training. The weightage for the former is 450 marks and for the latter 150 marks. However, for IAS Officer Trainees, the total weightage of the course in their overall Induction Training evaluation is 300 marks, i.e. 150 marks for examinations and 150 marks for Director’s Assessment.



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